Monday, December 6, 2010

So, How Old Are You?

When I worked at the bike shop I would occasionally field a phone call from a middle-aged woman who'd ask some extremely bike-specific question. "Do you have any jockey wheels for a pre-1998 Decore LX rear derailleur?" I'd say, "Let me put you on hold," then I'd go dig through a spare parts bin to see if I had anything to sell her for a couple dollars. Usually I wouldn't find anything, so I'd pick up the phone, press the button to take the call and say, "Ma'am, we don't have any." But then something odd would happen. The lady would say, "No, it's me," as if I knew her, or maybe I didn't. And that's when I'd realize that I was speaking with a 12-year-old boy who loved mountain biking but had yet to experience the voice change that comes with the onset of puberty. The smart way to handle it would have been to pretend that I'd picked up the wrong phone line, but I never did that. I'd just mumble something as if I had a hearing problem before hanging up on him. 

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